Ell’s NFL Weekly: Week 4

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October 22, 2013 by Ell and Mike Sports

Week 4

gore

49ers 35 vs. Rams 11

The 49ers win a must win game against a divisional opponent and state their dominance over the young Rams. The 49ers paved the way on the ground behind the power running of RB Frank Gore as he had 20 carries for 153 yards and a TD. Backup RB Kendall Hunter also had 11 carries for 49 yards and a TD complementing Gore well. QB Colin Kaepernick was accurate in his passing with no INTs, but he did have a fumble. Kaepernick showed good chemistry with WR Anquan Boldin again as he had 90 yards and a TD stretching the field. The 49ers D had a great game despite MLB Patrick Willis and OLB Aldon Smith not playing in the game. MLB Navorro Bowman led the way with 2 sacks and a forced fumble behind a strong defensive effort of 5 sacks, a forced fumble, and an INT. On the other side, QB Sam Bradford played poorly and was under constant duress. RB Daryl Richardson never got started giving them no running game to rely on. The defense played well early behind DE Robert Quinn, but was carved for big yardage through the run game which opened things up for the 49ers D. CB Cortland Finnegan was loss to injury in this game, but was already struggling to cover Boldin. Big win for the 49ers, but it exposes the Rams showing them that they have a long ways to go to compete in the NFC West.

Ravens 20 vs. Bills 23

The Bills pull off a close one at home against the defending champs as the defense forces QB Joe Flacco to throw 5 INTs. The Bills D-line manhandled the Ravens O-line lead by DT Marcell Dareus providing pressure up the middle with 2 sacks. QB E.J. Manuel was under constant pressure and had 3 turnovers (2 INTs and 1 fumble) helping the Ravens stay in the game. RB Fred Jackson had a good game running for 87yards and a TD, while Spiller added 77yards. Manuel continues to show a good connection with rookie WR Robert Woods as he had 80yards and a TD. The Ravens struggle to run the ball again with 9 carries for 24 yards, total!!! WR Torrey Smith had a great day with 166yards and a TD stretching the field. The Ravens D played aggressively all game, but the offense didn’t help turning the ball over resulting in short fields. The Bills gain a home win over a quality team at 2-2 giving them something build off going forward. The Ravens fall to 2-2 as Flacco has his worst game ever and the run game that used to be consistent seems like a question mark.

Cards 13 vs. Bucs 10

The Cards pull off a close one on the road in a NFC battle of good defense (or poor offense) depending which way you want to look at it. The Cards offense moved the ball for 248 yards under veteran QB Carson Palmer who shared the ball mostly between WR Michael Floyd (87yards) and WR Larry Fitzgerald (68yds, TD), but he still had 2 INTs which didn’t help the cause. RB Rashard Mendenhall struggled with only 21 yards rushing, but RB Andre Ellington continues to complement well contributing on the ground and receiving. The Cards D played well as CB Patrick Peterson had 2 INTs. On the other side, rookie QB Mike Glennon got his 1st start which started off well with a TD pass to WR Mike Williams, but it was all downhill after that with 2 INTs and a fumble that was loss. RB Doug Martin was shutdown in this game with 45 yards, but Safety Dashon Goldson had a 22 yard run and RB/WR Jeff Demps had a 14 yard run finally displaying his speed. The Bucs D played well behind CB Darrelle Revis who had 6 tackles, an INT, and a forced fumble, but it wasn’t enough. The Cards improve to 2-2 showing good fight under new coach HC Bruce Arians. The Bucs fall to 0-4 and couldn’t be saved by a QB change this is a team in need of direction.

Steelers 27 vs. Vikings 34

The Vikings pull off a close one in London against the Steelers as both teams were searching for their 1st win (0-3) surprisingly. The Vikings jumped out to a 10-0 lead behind QB Matt Cassel who played well 248 yards and 2 TDs showing good chemistry with WR Greg Jennings who had 3 catches, 92 yards, and 2 TDs including a 70 yard bomb in the 1st quarter. WR Jerome Simpson continues to impress complementing Jennings well with 7 catches for 124 yards. RB Adrian Peterson was the big difference maker in this game with 140 yards and 2 TDs including a 60 yard run giving in him 12 60yard+ TDs in his career most in NFL history by 3. The Vikings D-line manhandled the Steelers O-line which seems to be a common theme for the Steelers this year. DE Jared Allen led the way with 2.5 sacks in the game. Despite poor O-line play QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for 383 yards, but was sacked plenty trying to make plays. WR Jericho Cotchery had 5 catches, 103 yards, and a TD leading the way for the receiving game. Rothelisberger had a costly fumble after a sack by DE Everson Griffen late in the game on a drive that could have possibly sent the game to OT. The Steelers D did not cause much pressure outside of a sack/forced fumble by Lamar Woodley recovered by the offense and was carved on the ground. The Steelers run game wasn’t that effective, but RB Le’Veon Bell finally got on the field after missing games due to injury and had 2TDs; he should keep the starting job going forward despite a below average performance. The Steelers continue to disappoint and fall to 0-4 with improvement needed on both sides of the ball; could they actually pick in the top 10? Vikings improve to 1-3 and seem to have hope behind QB Matt Cassel’s improved play over QB Christian Ponder.

mccluster

Giants 7 vs. Chiefs 31

The Giants lose another one falling to 0-4 in a game that many expected them to lose as the Chiefs have been playing so well and were at home. The game was close at the beginning, but QB Eli Manning continued to commit turnovers with 2 loss fumbles and an INT. Manning displayed good connection with WR Victor Cruz as he had 164 yards and a TD with a 69 yard TD reception which was the only score. The run game was finally decent in a group effort between RBs David Wilson, Da’Rel Scott, and Brandon Jacobs, as well as, Manning. The defense forced 2 INTs, but didn’t get much help from the offense and didn’t provide much pass rush throughout the game. On the other side, the Chiefs moved the ball well as QB Alex Smith had 288 yards and 3TDs passing despite 2 INTs and moved the ball well with his feet. Smith spread the ball well between the different players picking apart the Giants well. The Chiefs D played up to their usual standards led by OLB Tamba Hali with 2 INTs and a forced fumbled as they dominated forcing turnovers and holding the Giants to 1 score on 1 big play. WR/RB/KR Dexter McCluster scored on a punt return and contributed in the receiving game stretching the field well. The Chiefs improve to 4-0 continuing to show a new era in Chiefs football and that they are one of the best teams in the league on both sides of the football, especially defense. The Giants at 0-4 have a lot of work to do and need to improve on both sides of the football if they hope to win sometime soon.

Colts 37 vs. Jags 3

The Colts dominate their divisional opponent in a blowout on the road against the Jags. The Colts defense dominated in this game behind OLB Robert Mathis who had 3 sacks in the game and the defense also forced 3 INTs. The Colts offense was balanced despite losing RB Ahmad Bradshaw to injury the game before as Trent Richardson ran the power yards and RB Donald Brown slashed the defense for the big yardage. QB Andrew Luck continued to impress and WR Reggie Wayne had 100 yards and a TD. TE Coby Fleener finally broke out with 77 yards receiving and a TD finally showing chemistry with his former college teammate Luck. On the other side, QB Blaine Gabbert continues to prove that he is a bust turning over the ball with 3 INTs. In addition, the run game struggled mightily as RB Maurice Jones-Drew with only 23 yards not helping the cause. The defense provided some pass rush and an INT, but couldn’t get off the field at times and didn’t receive much help from the offense. The Jags fall to 0-4 in need of help in a lot of places mostly on offense, but this is no new theme; improved QB play is an obvious need. The Colts improve to 3-1 showing signs of a balanced team ready for a playoff run with the addition of RB Trent Richardson.

Seahawks 23 vs. Texans 20

The Seahawks pull off a tough win against the Texans on the road improving to 4-0 for the 1st time ever in a game in which the Texans led 20-6 in the 4th quarter. QB Russell Wilson struggled in the passing game, but made very important plays with his feet in the 4th quarter gaining key 1st downs to keep drives alive bringing the team back, he had 10 carries for 77 yards. RB Marshawn Lynch ran the ball well with 98 yards and a TD and led the team in receiving with 45 yards on 3 catches. The Seattle D was the most important factor in this game with 4 sacks, 2INTs, 2forced fumbles, 1 recovered, and a TD (from INT) by CB Richard Sherman to send the game into OT. The Texans played well behind RB Arian Foster’s 102 yards and 69 yards and a TD receiving, but the turnovers by QB Matt Schaub were costly (2 INTs, 1 pick 6). However, Schaub did throw for 355 yards and 2TDs spreading the ball well connecting with WR Andre Johnson for 110 yards. The Texans D played well despite a penalty in OT that gave the Seahawks position for the winning field goal. They had 5 sacks, an INT, and a forced fumble on Lynch led by 2nd year player OLB Whitney Marcelius with 2.5 sacks. The Seahawks showed great defensive play and a strong run game with smart QB play to match on the way to 4-0, as the best team in the NFC and maybe in the league. The Texans fall to 2-2 in a game they should have won and must learn to hold their leads or extend them in order to win going forward.

Bengals 6 vs. Browns 17

The Browns pull off the surprise win at home proving that they will play physical and tough this season competing in the AFC North going to 2-2 and 2-0 behind QB Brian Hoyer. Hoyer had a good game displaying good accuracy and two TDs no INTs with a solid drive in the 1st quarter on a sharp 39 yard pass to WR Travis Benjamin to spark the offense. Hoyer continued to show solid connections with WR Josh Gordon (71 yards) and TE Jordan Cameron (91 yards, TD) as they both continue to stretch the field exposing opposing team. The Browns D played tough showing a good pass rush and causing turnover, as they shutdown the running game. CB Joe Haden shutdown WR A.J. Green which led to a tough day for QB Andy Dalton who struggled to find an open receiver with single coverage on Green. The Bengals defense played well, despite a couple big passing plays as DE Carlos Dunlap and DT Geno Atkins both had 1.5 sacks providing a good pass rush, but it wasn’t enough. The Bengals also stopped the run, but RB Chris Ogbonnaya continues to contribute in the receiving game and had a couple good runs in this game complementing RB Willis McGahee. The Browns pull off a tough win putting them in the AFC North hunt and good things appear to be coming as QB Brian Hoyer seems to have taken over the QB spot for good. Bengals fall to 2-2 missing a chance to take a nice lead on the AFC North race, but it shows they have offensive struggles that need to be worked out both on the ground and in the air.

reggiebush

Bears 32 vs. Lions 40

The Bears and the Lions battle in a tough divisional matchup which ends a high scoring Lions win that they were able to hold thanks to solid play by their best two defensive players (DT Ndamukong Suh and Safety Louis Delmas) and the smooth running by RB Reggie Bush. Bush carved the Bears defense with 18 carries for 139 yards and a quick 37-yard TD showing his explosiveness, he also added 4 catches for 34 yards. QB Matt Stafford played well despite two fumbled, one for loss, with 242 yards 1 passing TD and 1 rushing TD for 1 yard. WR Calvin Johnson didn’t do much in the game, but was efficient with 44yards in a TD. On defense, Suh had 2 sacks, his 1st of the season, and a forced fumble late in the game which was returned for a TD by DT Nick Fairley. Delmas had 2 INTs in the game playing well despite injury problems the last couple years. On the other side, QB Jay Cutler had 317 yards passing and 2TDs, but threw 3INTs and loss a fumble after a sack by Suh which was returned for TD. RB Matt Forte had a good game rushing for 95 yards including a 53yard TD and 22 yards receiving. Cutler spread the ball well with WR Alshon Jeffery recording 5 catches for 107yards and a TD showing that he can be a big time receiver opposite WR Brandon Marshall the usual main target who had 79 yards. Cutler continues to use TE Martellus Bennett well who had 90 yards receiving. The Bears D played well forcing 4 fumbles and recovering two, but they couldn’t get enough pressure on QB Matt Stafford and was carved by Reggie Bush. The Bears fall to 3-1 in a tough matchup on the road and prove that the offense is much improved as long as they don’t commit turnovers they can compete with any team. The Lions improve to 3-1 proving to be one of the tougher teams in the league and proving that they are legit and ready to compete for a playoff spot and maybe more with the balance Bush adds.

Jets 13 vs. Titans 38

The Titans continue to impress winning a big AFC matchup as two surprise teams go head to head proving that they are the real deal, however Titans lose QB Jack Locker to injury late in the game. Locker carved the Jets D for 3 TDs and scored easily on short fields thanks to good defense playmaking. RB Chris Johnson struggle for only 21 yards, but backup RB Jackie Battle complemented him well picking up tough yardage. WR Nate Washington had a big game with 105 yards and 2 TDs continuing to impress as the #1 target as WR Kenny Britt continues to not get playing time. QB Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a TD once Locker was loss to injury. The Titans D continues to impress with strong play from all 3 levels making them one of toughest units in the league. On the other side, the Jets offense moved the ball well, but turnovers were the problem as QB Geno Smith threw 2 INTs and loss 2 fumbles. RB Bilal Powell continues to impress running the football. TE Kellen Winslow continues to be a reliable target on a Jets team in need of playmakers; he had 73 yards receiving and stretched the field. The Jets D provided some pass rush, but couldn’t stop the passing game of the Titans and didn’t receive help from the offense with the turnovers. The Titans improve to 3-1, but it will be interesting to see how they do without Locker going forward, but Fitzpatrick is a serviceable veteran. The Jets fall to 2-2 and already understand they have things to work on, but are not in a bad place looking ahead as Smith continues to improve which is the key to their wins or losses.

Redskins 24 vs. Raiders 14

The Redskins pull off their 1st win of the season, but the game didn’t start well as the Raiders got up to a 14-0 lead that they blew in the 2nd half. QB Matt Flynn was sacked 7 times, had 3 fumbles (2 loss) 1 TD, and 1 INT. He looked lost at times and does not appear to be a starting caliber QB despite the early lead. With QB Terelle Pryor already out, losing RB Darren McFadden and FB Marcel Reece didn’t help, although RB Rashard Jennings filled in nicely as the top rusher (45 yards) and top receiver (71 yards). The Raiders D came out with energy at home, but couldn’t preserve the lead against a struggling Redskins team. MLB Nick Roach and Safety Charles Woodson continue to be the leaders of this D, but other must step up. QB Robert Griffin III struggled in the 1st half, but picked up his play in the 2nd half to gain the lead. He spread the ball well with no turnovers, but still hasn’t shown his usual elusiveness. RB Alfred Morris had a decent game with 71 yards and RB Roy Helu balanced the run game well with 41 yards and a 14 yard TDs, in addition to 2 catches for 43 yards. WR Pierre Garcon led the Redskins in receiving with 59 yards and a TD. The Redskins D had a great game lead by their leaders Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo who both had 2 sacks; NT Barry Cofield also had 2 sacks. Rookie CB David Amerson continues to play better each week and had a 45 yard pick 6 (TD for INT). The Raiders have learned that the Matt Flynn experiment was a mistake, as they fall to 1-3. The Redskins finally win a game starting off 1-3 as the defense played well, but the offense needs to provide balance and can’t continue to start slow.

peyton

Eagles 20 vs. Broncos 52

The Broncos continue to dominate as not even HC Chip Kelly’s Eagles can keep up with the Broncos at home. QB Peyton Manning continues to impress going 28/34 with 327 yards and 4 TD passes spreading the ball well. The trio impressed stretching the field as WR Demaryius Thomas had 86 yards 2TDs, WR Wes Welker had 76 yards 2 TDs, and WR Eric Decker had 88 yards. RB Knowshon Moreno led the Broncos rushing attack with 12 carries for 78 yards and a TD while RBs Ronnie Hillman and Montee Ball struggled. KR Trindon Holliday continues to impress as he had a kickoff return for TD of 105 yards. The Broncos D impressed keeping QB Mike Vick under constant pressure containing the Eagles quick paced passing game; Vick and RB Lesean McCoy did not record a TD in the game. On the Eagles side, QB Mike Vick struggled in the game, but did not record a turnover and made plays with his feet with 8 carries for 41 yards. QB Nick Foles went 3 for 4 with 49 yards and a TD in relief play late in the game. RB Lesean McCoy had 16 carries for 73 yards and RB Chris Polk had 3 carries for 33 yards and a TD complementing him well, but the run game was negated by the quick scores from the Broncos. The Eagles fall to 1-3 as the secondary continues to get carved and the passing game struggles to get anything going behind Vick.  The Broncos improve to 4-0 scoring at a high volume in each game as Peyton Manning enjoys all his weapons and the defense continues to play well complementing them well.

Cowboys 21 vs. Chargers 30

A good matchup which ends in a home win for the Chargers who heated up in the 2nd half on offense behind QB Philip Rivers. Rivers connected with his favorite target TE Antonio Gates who finally looked healthy with 10 catches for 136 yards and a TD as Rivers spread the ball well going 35/42, 401 yards, 3 TDs, and 1INT. Rookie WR Keenan Allen contributed with 80 yards on 5 catches and RB/WR Danny Woodhead had 54 yards and 2 TDs. Woodhead also ran the ball well with 32 yards on 5 carries balancing RB Ryan Matthews who had 62 yards on 19 carries. The Chargers defense played well, but gave up all 21pts to the Cowboys in the 2nd quarter. However, they did get a key forced fumble on WR Terrance Williams near the end zone when the Cowboys attempted a 4th quarter comeback. On the other side, QB Tony Romo had a pretty good game with 2 TD and 246 yards including 81 yards and 2 TDs by WR Dez Bryant. The Cowboys defense struggled especially in the 2nd half, but MLB Sean Lee continues to impress with 15 tackles and a pick 6 (INT for TD). RB Demarco Murray ran well with 14 carries for 70 yards and a few catches out of the backfield, but the run game was negated once Rivers heated up. The Cowboys fall to 2-2 missing a chance to make their mark in the struggling NFC East. Although the Cowboys offense played well, they seemed to have missed WR Miles Austin who was out with an injury. The defense needs to continue to improve in the secondary which has been an ongoing theme the past few seasons. The Chargers improve to 2-2 as Rivers continues to impress and the defense continues to make plays, but needs to show more consistency. OLB Dwight Freeney hurt his quad in the game and did not return.

Pats 30 vs. Falcons 23

The Pats improve to 4-0 against a tough Atlanta team that was struggling with injuries, but they stayed in the game until a good last minute stop by the Falcons and CB Aqib Talib. The Pats played well despite DT Vince Wilfork getting hurt in the game and having a boot on his foot on the sideline which is not good going forward. Talib did a good job shutting down WR Roddy White and was the star on D with an interception proving his worth on the team. This was a close game until a breakout 4th quarter by the Falcons causing them to play catch up behind QB Matt Ryan. Brady did a good job carving the Falcons D for 316 yards and 2 TDs, including 6 catches 127 yards and a TD for undrafted WR Kenbrell Thompkins who continues to impress and 7 catches 118 yards by WR Julian Edelman who has been Brady’s most reliable target. The running game was very complementary as RB Stevan Ridley had 11 carries for 53yards and RB Legarrette Blount had 9 carries for 64 yards and a 47 yard TD.  On the other side, Matt Ryan had a good game with 421 yards including 2TDs and an INT while playing from behind. The Falcons running game wasn’t bad behind RB Jacquizz Rodgers with 7 carries for 32 yards and 6 catches for 56 yards, but the game was mostly in QB Matt Ryan’s hands. Ryan spread the ball well with TE Tony Gonzales with 12 catches for 149 yards and both TDs as the primary target. WR Julio Jones also went over 100 yards with 6 catches for 108 yards. The Pats improve to 4-0 overachieving expectations and waiting on the return of TE Rob Gronkowski to the lineup to help improve the O, but it was the D who will needed help in this game without Wilfork. The Falcons surprisingly fall to 1-3 and have problems going forward as Roddy White continues to struggle and the defense has too many injuries which leaves too many holes.

Dolphins 17 vs. Saints 38

Who would have thought that this game would be a matchup of two unbeaten teams, but all in the end the Saints prove they are on another level. QB Drew Brees dominated the Dolphins secondary as he threw for 4 TDs going 30/39 and 413 yards. The Dolphins had no answer for RB Darren Sproles who had 28yds and a TD on the ground and 114yds and a TD receiving. The TE Jimmy Graham show continued as he had 100 yards and 2 TDs stretching the field and exposing the coverage. WR Marques Colston also got in on the action with 96 yards as Brees spread the ball well. The Saints defense was very aggressive exposing QB Ryan Tannehill as they had 4 sacks, 3 INTs, and a forced fumble recovered by the defense. RB Lamar Miller had a good game with 62 yards and a TD, but the turnovers by Tannehill and the high scoring made the run game unnecessary. FB/TE Charles Clay continues to be part of the receiving game with 42yards and a TD. The Dolphins D shutdown the run, but had no answer for Drew Brees and the passing attack. The Saints continue on to 4-0 proving to be a balanced team that can attack teams in many ways with HC Sean Payton back. The Dolphins fall to 3-1, but are still having an impressive year that they can continue to build on.

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